Issue Details: First known date: 2010 2010
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'The myths surrounding rural outlaws and social bandits are important elements of cultural identity in many urban and industrialised nations, with the image of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly even projected to a global audience during the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Analysis of Sydney Morning Herald articles from 1987 to 2004 confirms that Ned Kelly appears more often than all other bushrangers combined. Journalists tapping the wellspring of the Kelly myth have embellished his legend and introduced him to new generations of Australians. However, he is less likely than other bushrangers to appear in historical pieces and rarely the central focus of articles. Kelly the 'hero' is associated with the visual arts and literature, while Kelly the 'outlaw' is juxtaposed with rapacious banks and rogue politicians. Long after his death, the famous bushranger is enshrined in Australian mythology through regular media exposure, ensuring his position as a cultural symbol of Australia.' (Author's abstract)

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Last amended 17 Feb 2011